A subeditor working for a local daily in Islamabad was shot dead by unidentified assailants in the late hours of Thursday in a high-security zone of Rawalpindi, police said.

Anjum Muneer Raja, 40, was returning home after work at Urdu newspaper Qaumi Pukaar when unknown attackers riding a motorcycle opened fire on him at Bank Road in the jurisdiction of Civil Lines police station, before midnight. The site of the incident is minutes away from GHQ, the Pakistani military's national headquarters.

Raja, who was riding a motorcycle as well, was shot six times in the neck, torso and head and died on the spot, police officials told DawnNewsTV. The assailants fled after the attack.

See: Pakistan rated among most dangerous countries for journalists

After being alerted about the incident, police reached the site and shifted the victim's body to the District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital. The body was handed over to the relatives after a postmortem.

DSP Civil Lines Kazim Naqvi told DawnNewsTV that police found six spent bullet casings fired from a 9mm pistol from the scene. The manner in which the murder was carried out indicated that it was an incident of targeted killing, he said.

The officer said initial investigation suggested that the killing could be a result of some personal enmity but that police was probing the incident from all angles. Because Bank Road is a sensitive area where several hotels and offices are located in addition to GHQ, police have written to the army to obtain CCTV footage of the killing. The investigation will proceed further once the footage is received.

A first information report of the incident has been registered on a complaint of the victim's maternal uncle.

While speaking to DawnNewsTV, Raja's uncle Tariq Mehmood said that his nephew did not have a personal enmity with anyone. Terming the killing an incident of "terrorism", he expressed shock that Raja was murdered in such a highly secured area.

He said Raja was father to a five-year-old boy and used to teach at a school in the mornings and worked as a subeditor for the Islamabad-based newspaper in the evenings.

The journalist community condemned Raja's murder and demanded the immediate arrest of the attackers. While demanding protection for all journalists, the journalist groups threatened that they would resort to protests if Raja's killers are not apprehened soon.